Our picks for the Drum&BassArena Awards 2017.

Voting’s over! Here are our picks for the Drum&Bass Arena Awards 2017.

First of all, let me start by saying: big up to everyone who was nominated, you’ve all deserved the nomination, thousands of Junglists can’t be wrong, and every spot was well deserved! With that in mind, here are our picks for the Drum&BassArena awards 2017 (Remember, these are our picks, not our predictions, and whoever wins at the end of the night, it’ll be deserved):

Best DJ: DJ Marky

Also Nominated: A.M.C., Andy C, Camo & Krooked, Friction, Maduk, Mefjus, Muzzy, Noisia, Randall

Past Winners include: Andy C, only Andy C

DJ_Marky

After seeing him working the ones and twos a number of times last year, I’m more then happy to give this one to one-in-a-million Brazillian, DJ Marky. He turns spinning records into an artform, peppering it with scratches, double drops and that huge smile of his. His style can be considered oldschool, and his technique might not be always beatmatching perfect, but that only ads to the organic vibe in his sets.

Check out his sideways scratch-routine in the video below:

 


 

Best Producer: Camo & Krooked

Also Nominated: Mefjus, Muzzy, Noisia, Alix Perez, Break, Dimension, Hybrid Minds, S.P.Y., Serum

Past Winners include: Noisia, Camo & Krooked, Calyx & Teebee, High Contrast

Camo_Krooked

Releasing their Full album Mosaik this year, and further defining their sound, and their stamp on the genre, it’s hard not to pick these two Austrians. They’ve gone their own way, and without looking back have released one of the most original albums of the year.

The track “Ember” is one of the most feeling-packed and detailed productions in a while:

 


 

Best MC: MC Mota

Also Nominated: DRS, Dynamite MC, Eksman, Harry Shotta, Inja, MC Coppa, MC Daxta, MC Fava, SP:MC

Past Winners include: DRS, Dynamite, SP:MC, Skibadee

MC_Mota

This one might’ve been clouded by some good old patriotism, but everytime I see MC Mota on the roster of any event, I get a little giddy. I love the energy he brings on , and his wit and humor off the stage. He scored hits alongside James Marvel, June Miller and Kuuro.

Check his video, celebrating 5 years in the scene:

 


 

Best Vocalist: DRS

Also Nominated: Blake, Charli Brix, Charlotte Haining, Jenna G, Riya, Solah, Tasha Baxter, Tyler Daley, Veela

Past Winners include: DRS, Riya

DRS

A deep soulful voice with deep soulful lyrics, releasing his own EP and a single with Calibre, as well as the soul-tearing song “Angels Fall” with LSB, for the departed Marcus Intalex. DRS had a year of ups and downs, but soldiered through like only he can.

 


 

Best Newcomer: Benny L

Also Nominated: 1991, Dub Elements, Molly Collins, Monty, Pola & Bryson, QZB, T & Sugah, Tsuki, Whiney

Past Winners include:Signal, Maduk, Emperor, Skittles, Etherwood, Mefjus,…

Benny_L

I couldn’t begin to word it better than UKF did:

Benny is up there with Serum and Voltage as one of this year’s most distinctive bassline sculptors. Obscenely on-point and sonically mature beyond his years, his basslines don’t bang but groan and moan under heavy production pressure. Rolling like old oak furniture being charged across floorboards by a herd of elephants, wheezing like the last puffs being squeezed out of a giant titanium robot, they’re not of this world and remind us of that iced-out, weirdo feeling only drum & bass can conjure.

Check Goldie’s giddyness when dropping Low Blow in:

 


 

Best Label: Hospital Records

Also Nominated: Critical Music, Dispatch Recordings, Eatbrain, Liquicity Records, Low Down Deep Recordings, Mainframe Recordings, Ram Records, Shogun Audio, Spearhead Records

Past Winners include: Hospital records, Ram Records

Hospital

Seeing criticaly acclaimed releases from Royalston, S.P.Y., Hugh Hardie, Nu:Logic, Makoto and Fred V & Grafix, alongside their own “Hospitality in the park” and “We Are 21” compilation albums, Hospital Records surely had a busy year. They also held their first “Hospitality at the Docks”, as well as their second “Hospitality in the Park” and saw their podcast reach to 400+ episodes. Little labels put so much energy and positivity in their fanbase as these guys. Their at the top of their game at the moment, a moment that has been going on for some years now.

 


 

Best Newcomer Label: 1985

Also Nominated: Get Hype Records, High Tea Music, Impact Music, Mosaik Musik, Moshbit Records, Silhouette Audio, Slug Wife, Souped Up Records, The North Quarter

Past Winners include: Methlab, (last year was the first award)

1985

2017 was a good year for Alix Perez’s imprint, Releasing material by himself, his moniker Shades (with Eprom), Halogenix, and more, that fit that certain “Alix Perez vibe”. You”l know it when you hear it. We’re hoping to see new signings next year, whom will be undoubtedly by the same quality as this years.

 


 

Best Album: Chase & Status – Tribe

Also Nominated: Fred V & Grafix – Cinematic Party Music, Inward, Hanzo & Randie – Consistency of Error, Hybrid Minds – Elements, Wilkinson – Hypnotic, Camo & Krooked – Mosaik, BCee – Northpoint, Nu:Logic – Somewhere Between the Light, Whiney – Talisman, Black Sun Empire – The Wrong Room

Past Winners include: Noisia – Outer Edges, Mefjus – Emulation,…

Chase_status_tribes

Four years after their last full album Chase & Status are back with an absolute bang. They pull you trough a journey of styles and influences, starting off with the unapologetic huge and bombastic song “Big Man Skank“, nostalgically remembering their past (Smash TV, anyone?) in “Tribes“, and ending in the soon-to-be-classic “Know Your Name“, featuring the wonderful Seinabo Sey.

Check out the first single from the album:

 


 

Best Track: Benny L – Low Blow

Also Nominated: Dimension – Black Church, Halogenix – Blej, Bungle – Cocooned, June Miller, James Marvel & MC Mota – Dominator, The Prototypes – Electric, Camo & Krooked – Ember, John B – ENERGY, Whiney – Flashlight (ft. Inja), Turno – The Invaderz, Dub Elements – Invasion, Muzzy – Spectrum

Past Winners include: Mefjus – Suicide Bassline VIP, Noisia and The Upbeats – Dead Limit,…

Benny_L

That’s right, we’re giving Benny L two awards this year. Check the “Best Newcomer” and listen to the below video to see why.

 


 

Best Remix: Noisia – The Entangled (Camo & Krooked Remix)

Also Nominated: Technimatic – Bristol (Break Remix), Snails & Pegboard Nerds – Deep in the Night (Muzzy Remix), Noisia – Into Dust (Neonlight Remix), The Upbeats – Joyrider (Agressor Bunx Remix), Technimatic – Parallel (LSB Remix), The Upbeats – Say Go (Memtrix Remix), Sigma – Slow Down (ft. Jetta) (Calyx & TeeBee Remix), TC – Tap Ho (A.M.C Remix), Metrik – We Got It (ft. Rothwell) (S.P.Y Remix)

Past Winners include: Children of Zeus ft. DRS – Still Standing (Lenzman Remix),…

noisia_entangled_camo_krooked

Noisia had a busy year, after releasing their full album “Outer Edges” last year they later let that album evolve into a remix album and an awesome (in every sense of the word) Live Show.  That remix album showed us some quality remixes like Machinedrum’s original take on Get Deaded and our pick for best remix Camo & Krooked’s take on “The Entangled”, a track showing of both group’s excellent producing skills and combining their own unique sounds into a beautiful track. We wished they’d do more collaborations together.

 


 

Best Video: Noisia – Tentacles

Also Nominated: June Miller, James Marvel & MC Mota – Dominator, Dimension – Black Church, Camo & Krooked – Black or White (Ft. Tasha Baxter), Camo & Krooked – Good Times Bad Times, DRS – I Will (ft. Patife & Vangeliez), Camo & Krooked – If I Could (Ft. Joe Killington), Macky Gee & DJ Phantasy – Let It Shine VIP (Ft. Youngman), QZB – Revenant, Muzzy – Spectrum

Past Winners include: Noisia – Mantra, Netsky – Rio, Dub Phizix & Strategy – Buffalo Charge,…

Noisia_outer_edges

It’s not a big secret that Noisia likes to surround them with talented people, especialy when it comes for their videos. Remember such top-notch music-videos like “Tommy’s Theme“, last years winner “Mantra“, or the beautifully animated “Could This Be“. This time they worked with 3D designer and animation artist Chris Cousins to create this years Best Music Video, as wel as the visuals accompanying the track during their live shows.

 


 

Best Clubnight: Hospitality

Also Nominated: Andy C XOYO, Eatbrain, Fabriclive, High Tea Music, Liquicity, Mainframe, Rampage, Spearhead Presents, Switch! Vienna

Past Winners include: Fabric, Hospitality

hospitality

After the huge succes of “Hospitality in the Park” last year, they upped their game this year with not only the second edition of their park-bound festival, but also moved to London’s Tobacco Dock for “Hospitality in the Dock”. Their clubtours are legendary, hitting up cities like Berlin, Kyiv, Prague, Amsterdam, Chicago, Los Angeles, and many more , Hospitality remains one of the best and biggest clubnights in the business.

 


 

Best Festival: Let It Roll

Also Nominated: Rampage, Boomtown, Dub Elements & Friends, Hospitality in the Park, Innovation, Liquicity, Nu-Forms, Outlook, Pirate Station, Sun and Bass

Past Winners include: Let It Roll, Outlook

let-it-roll

Be it their summer or winter edition, Let It Roll is famously known for their high quality production, diverse line-ups and world famous opening shows. This year’s summer edition featured more than 330 artists on 9 stages making it the biggest Drum and Bass event in the world. Relive last years openingshow here:

 


 

Check out awards.breakbeat.co.uk for more information about the live event and previous winners.

The Godfathers of DnB, Part 3.

In this third installment of the series we continue to explore the people who made this thing we all love into what it is today. This week we talk about Andy C, Bad Company UK, London Elektricity and Marcus Intalex.

More than not, when someone’s introducing Andy C, Goldie, or Grooverider they’ll probably refer to them as “The Godfather of DnB”. And while that’s not wrong, it might appear as we’ve got more than one. So I’ve searched far and wide, and came up with a list that explores the creators and shapers of this thing we like to call Drum & Bass, from producers, to Dj’s and MC’s. In no particular order, here are the third 4.

Check Part 1 here where we covered Rebel MC, Fabio & Grooverider, Goldie, and LTJ Bukem, and Part 2 here where we covered Doc Scott, Shy FX, DJ SS, and Stevie Hyper D.

9. Andy C

Andy_C

There’s a good reason Andy C (born Andrew Clarke) has won Best DJ year after year on the Drum&BassArena Awards. He has graced virtually every venue and festival in the world where Drum and Bass is played with his signature “Double Drop” fast-paced style of DJ’ing his personal MC Ton Piper, and his baseballcap.

He and his friend Ant Miles used to make up “Origin Unknown”, and their track “Valley of the Shadows“, while not being his first track, surely was his most popular and important one, released at a time where Drum and Bass started to taking shape and cutting its ties with Hardcore. It’s hard to deny the impact those 5 minutes of samples had on later releases by Andy C himself. It defined the style he was looking for and was followed up with classics as “Slip ‘n’ Slide“, “Foul Mouth” (with Moving Fusion) and “Quest” and “Bodyrock” (both with Shimon).

His compilation albums “Nightlife” have turned into a who’s who of Drum and Bass music, bringing a meltingpot of bonafide classics and unreleased bangers. I ,for example, remember hearing a lot of old classics being played again that where on Nightlife 6, in the weeks after it released.

His and his friend Ant Miles’ record label “Ram Records” (est. 1992) is home to a host of big names such as Audio, Delta Heavy, Loadstar, and recently Bad Company UK. It found it’s first success with the release of “Valley of the Shadows”, but really took off when it released Moving Fusion’s classic “Turbulence” in 1999.

Fun Fact: Andy C’s sister designed Ram’s original “Horned” logo at the diner table in Andy’s parental home for his first release (Sound Mash EP – RAMM001).

 


 

10. Bad Company UK

Bad_Company_UK

Crafting many tunes in different configurations on Renegade Hardware (dBridge/Maldini as Future Forces Inc and Fresh/Maldini as Absolute Zero and Subphonics), Fresh (born Dan Stein), Maldini (born Jason Maldini), and dBridge (born Darren White) joined forces with Vegas (born Michael Wojcicki) to create the monster Drum and Bass anthem “The Nine“(1998) released on their own label BC Records. This highly acclaimed release (it’s widely recognised as one of the best Drum and Bass songs ever) was followed up with “The Fear EP”, and their first full length album: “Inside The Machine“.

Their Third album called “Book of the Bad” was an amalgamation of their three “Book of the Dead” EP’s, featuring such classics as “Ladies of Spain“, “Mind Games” and of course “Planet Dust“. It also further defined and refined their style, taking the darker elements of their previous work, and adding elements to it only these four could come up with.

Bad Company went on a hiatus around 2005, here’s a breakdown of what its members did during that period:

Fresh released “Escape from Planet Monday” (2006) on his and his pal Adam F’s label Breakbeat Kaos (a combination of Fresh’s “Breakbeat Punk” and Adam F’s “Kaos recordings” labels). Later came “Heavyweight” and “Kryptonite”, and then the hugely succesfull “Nexlevelism” with top 30 hits like “Louder“, “Hot Right Now” and “Gold Dust“.

dBridge, after feeling lost for a time he released his first solo full album “The Gemini Principle”(2008) on his own label “Exit Records”. His label continues to put out quality tunes from the more deep side of DnB with artists such as Calibre, Spectrasoul and even Dub Phizix and Skeptical.

Maldini and Vegas continued under the Bad Company UK moniker, touring the world, and also formed the trio “Blokhe4d” with swiss producer “Uman”.

In 2016 UKF announced the return of Bad Company UK with them releasing their first new song “Equilibrium” and signing on Andy C’s Ram Records.

Fun Fact: Popular Drum and Bass forum “Dogs on Acid” was originaly created as a BCUK fan forum.

 


 

11. London Elektricity

London_Elektricity

London Elektricity started out as the duo Chriss Goss/Tony Colman, around 1996 after first releasing under the alias “Peter Nice Trio” (to mixed reviews). They started the label “Hospital Records”, with the promise to only release their own music on it, in which they obviously, and thankfully, failed. After releasing their hit single “Song in the Key of Knife“(1998), and a year later their first full album “Pull the Plug” (1999) Chriss Goss decided to leave the duo to focus entirely on the Hospital label, leaving Tony to continue with the London Elektricity moniker alone.

The second full album “Billion Dollar Gravy” involved more guest-musicians, and resulted in a live tour with the studio-band and Drum and Bass’ first ever live album. , a feat he later repeated with the “London Elektricity Big Band” (who premiered at “Hospitality in the Park”, the labels first ever music festival).

Meanwhile Chriss Goss leads the label to new hights, signing acts like High Contrast, Danny Byrd, and later the mainstream succes Netsky.

Tony presents the weekly Hospital Podcast, who is at the time of writing at its 348th episode, which makes it one of the longest running Drum and Bass podcast ever. The Christmas podcasts remain a fan favourite, where London Elektricity combines his with the listeners top 10 of the year.

 


 

12. Marcus Intalex †

Marcus_Intalex

Starting out as a House DJ in 1991, Marcus Intalex (born Marcus Julian Kaye) soon discovered the then up-and-coming sounds of Jungle and Drum & Bass. He got himself a residency at a club called Angels in Burnley at night, and worked in a record shop during the day. It was at that residency he met Mark XTC, with whom he later formed “Da Intalex” producing tracks like “What Ya Gonna Do” and “I Like It” and landing their own radio show on Manchester’s Kiss 102 FM.

Being considered by many as a pioneer of the “Intelligent Drum and Bass” genre, Marcus continued his journey through the more soulful and deeper side of DnB with releases on labels like Hospital with his friend S.T Files, with whom he later formed the duo “M.I.S.T.” and started their own imprint called Soul:r.

Having his own label made it possible for Marcus to push the artists he liked, and that he felt deserved to be pushed forward. This made Soul:r maybe not the biggest, but undoubtedly one of the most respected labels in the scene, and gave it a must-buy reputation because of the quality it had put out over the years. Releases on Soul:r include tracks of his own M.I.S.T., but also tunes from artists like Calibre, DJ Marky, Break and Manchester’s own Chimpo.

Marcus Intalex passed away on May 28th 2017, resulting in an outpour of tributes and hommages, like the 4Marcus series, in which his friends and peers paid their respects the only way they know how: through the music that connected them all to him. This is all just more proof of what kind of a man Marcus really was, and how he touched the lives of those he met and worked with.

 

 


 

Stay tuned for more Godfathers of DnB next week!

In the mean time, enjoy our Spotify playlist, featuring songs from this and previous parts on our Godfathers playlist: